How to Deal with Asthma Attacks

Asthma is prevalent today and should not be taken lightly. Because you may use an inhaler at all times, it doesn’t mean it will work to treat your asthma symptoms every time. Differentiating between a minor attack and a severe attack will save your life, or a loved one. This article will inform you on how to deal with asthma attacks by evaluating symptoms, performing treatment, and seeking help.  

Asthma Attack Signs and Symptoms

We will list common symptoms, although every person is different. However, before an asthma attack, you may feel more tired and lethargic than usual. Symptoms similar to allergies may also occur.
Common signs include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Difficulty talking

Minor attacks can turn severe without proper treatment. If you experience the following signs, your asthma may be worsening:

  • Blue lips
  • Not enough airflow
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart rate slowing down

Asthma Triggers

While there are common triggers, everyone is different. They include:

  • Physical activity that is too strenuous on the body
  • Allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust
  • Smoke, strong odors, chemical fumes
  • Respiratory infections
  • Dry, arid air
  • Humidity
  • Intense and stressful emotions
  • Gastroesophageal reflux

Asthma Action Plan

To make sure you are taking all the right steps to carry out proper treatment, your doctor may create an asthma action plan for you. The plan should include:

  • How to identify if symptoms are getting worse
  • How much medication to take
  • What to do during a severe attack
  • Medication to take

Asthma Attack Treatment

Treat your symptoms by following your asthma action plan. If your doctor wants to know if your treatment is working, they may use a peak flow meter (PEF). A peak flow meter measures your peak expiratory flow (PEF) reading. The reading should be between 80 to 100 percent. If it’s 80 to 50 percent, an asthma attack is occurring. If it’s below 50 percent, it is a severe attack.   An inhaler or nebulizer can be used for milder symptoms. Repeat treatment until symptoms reduce.

Emergency Room for Severe Symptoms

If the event of a severe asthma attack and you are experiencing shortness of breath, low PEF reading, trouble speaking, and no relief from an inhaler—seek immediate medical attention by going to an emergency room.

Contact Us Today!

In all, seriously evaluate your symptoms and act accordingly. Do not take any symptoms lightly and follow your asthma action plan. If you need help or would like to talk to a professional about how to deal with asthma attacks, contact us today 781-461-0200


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

Scroll to Top